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Thread: top entrances

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    520

    Default top entrances

    The plan this summer, is to add a top entrance for our hives. I've read a few simple ways, ie, move back a super as an example. Problem with that, we get a lot of rain in our part of the world, and, I'm not keen on leaving that crack exposed to collect rain. We've got telescoping covers on the hives, so, cracking the lid up a bit doesn't seem like the right answer either, it'll still be under the overhang of the telescoping cover. A shim between the supers will create a larger than wanted gap between frames.

    Is there any reason to look at anything more complicated than simply drilling a hole in the super for a top entrance ? And if we just drill a hole, is there any reason to make it any specific size, ie, is an inch to big, half inch to small ?

    Ok, now I'm ready for a hundred different answers.

    Plan right now, just drill a 3/4 inch hole in each super before they go on. I'm really wondering if there is any specific reason this is a bad idea ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: top entrances

    I know a guy who just used upside-down bottom boards for lids, and from his experience, it worked well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Re: top entrances

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    I know a guy who just used upside-down bottom boards for lids, and from his experience, it worked well.
    This was in use as having a top entrance as the only entrance. I use inner covers with a 1" wide notch.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
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    835

    Default Re: top entrances

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    I know a guy who just used upside-down bottom boards for lids, and from his experience, it worked well.
    If you needed to reduce the entrance, how would you do that?
    No landing board this way, correct? Would your new bottom board be a lid, or a closed off bottom board? What about the space on top that the upside down bottom board creates, what do the bees do with that? I've thought of trying what you suggest but have had these questions.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: top entrances

    Mine are all top entrances. I create them with shims on a flat cover. I reduce them with a 3/4" by 1/4" by 10" or so piece of wood with a nail in the center to make a pivot. Rain has never been an issue. Overhangs just catch the wind and get more rain and cause the cover to blow off. Landing boards serve no real purpose.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: top entrances

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    If you needed to reduce the entrance, how would you do that?
    No landing board this way, correct? Would your new bottom board be a lid, or a closed off bottom board? What about the space on top that the upside down bottom board creates, what do the bees do with that? I've thought of trying what you suggest but have had these questions.
    He used the bottom board with the 3/4" entrance facing down, and used a regular wooden entrance reducer when needed. No landing board. The new bottom was either a closed off bottom board, or just a 16 1/4" x 19 7/8" (hive dimensions) boards with 1/4" rails/rims around the edge to provide bee space underneath the bottom super of frames. He used both. I don't remember what he used to maintain bee space in the area created by the bottom board.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: top entrances

    I would change over to all top entrances, but I would think that when opening up the hive and removing boxes, that would cause much confusion and lots of bees just hovering looking for the entrance. Those that have strictly top entrances, do you find that is what happens? Or do the bees just land on the top of the frames on whatever box is exposed and go in? I am starting to have skunk problems and lost alot of bees last season due to them, so having top entances would stop all that. John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,405

    Default Re: top entrances

    Attachment 4170

    I have some top entrances like the one in the pic. A piece of plywood with shims built up on the two ends to about 3/4" on the high side. The entrance is on the long side of the top and I can remove or replace sections of 3/4" strips to reduce or open the entrance width. Works pretty good, and no need for an inner cover.
    To everything there is a season....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,405

    Default Re: top entrances

    jmgi,
    Skunks are the reason I switched to all top entrances and it's worked out great. At times there may be a bit more confusion and activity when inspecting the colonies with top entrances but it's usually not too bad. What I will do if they are a bit on the irritable side, and I need to do a thorough inspection, is to move the boxes and re-stack them on the cover off to one side, leaving one at the original spot. This keeps me away from the returning forager bees as I work through the boxes.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    648

    Default Re: top entrances

    Simple top entrance is to removeall or part of front top 3/8 rim of inner cover for an entrance. Obviously, telescoping cover should not be blocking this entrance and may need to shimmed upwards so as to not block.

    Add four 1 1/4 holes in inner cover towards the four corners.

    Bees enter and crawl over inner cover and enter the hive via the four holes and hand hole in the center. Bees do not build any comb above the inner cover.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,536

    Default Re: top entrances

    Not a bad idea to drill, but an entrance in the rim of an inner cover is a better one. You can also install it with the entrance down for easier access for the bees.

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